Hola a todos! Hello everyone!
I am emailing as both the Program Coordinator Jessica Orr, and as the Lider del día.
Today we had the pleasure here in Leon to explore the history of this city with our beloved and delightful national director, Madai Baltodano. Here is a brief summary of this epic journey.
“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.” -Howard Zinn
The objective of today was for the students to get to know a part of the geography, history, and beautiful art in León. My personal objective was to inspire in students the same sense of awe and inspiration that I felt when I first came to León in March.
We began the day with a typical meal of scrambled eggs, gallo pinto (nicaraguan beans and rice) , and a banana. Then our amazing Global Glimpse Leaders taught students about the many struggles and successes of the people of Nicaragua through an interactive history seminar. During this time students heard key names like ‘Sandino,’ ‘Daniel Ortega’, ‘Sandinistas’, ‘Carlos Fonseca’, and ‘Ronald Reagan’.
The history of Nicaragua can be a very confusing and controversial conversation to have, as there are a lot of instances of U.S intervention that have influenced the popular perspective on North Americans,as well as mixed perspectives on the Sandinista political party . Though we must remember some facts in order to understand this history, it is even more important that students see first hand the spirit of León.
We began the city tour with a visit to the parque de los poetas , which is a park honoring famous modernist poet Ruben Darió, and his contemporaries. From here we got to know the Central Park, which displays both different architectural styles and the most magnificent and largest Cathedral in Central America. This cathedral was built in the 18th century by a Guatemalan architect. When stepping inside one is struck by the magnificence of the white walls and the many marble sculptures and fresco paintings. The poet Ruben Dario is buried in this cathedral, and there are many plaques honoring other fallen cultural figures.
After the cathedral students learned about the brave history of León from Pre colonial to modern times. There is a large mural that depicts all of the events covered in the history seminar, from indigenous times to when volcano Momotombo erupted in 1610 , and the Spanish Conquest of Leon, and the political figures that were inspired by Sandino.
After the city tour we had another delicious meal at Quiero Mas. Afterwards we got to know the amazing art collection of the Ortiz Gurdian family; one of the wealthiest Criolle families in Leon. At this museum there are four different houses that store art from all over Europe and Central America. We focused more on the Central american and Nicaraguan modern artists that continue the legacy of resistance and expression through art. Though tired from a long day of walking the students enjoyed understanding and interpreting the paintings.
Last but not least, in order to show our appreciation to our amazing, cooperative, and inquisitive students, we enjoyed a cold delicious icecream from the infamous ESKIMO ice cream shop.
Today was a long day, and yet our glimpsers were excited, engaged, and positive throughout the challenges. We can’t wait to explore the culture of León with everyone tomorrow, and to have everyone meet their English tutoring students!
Buenas noches desde el calor y belleza de León. (Good Night from the heat and beauty of Leon.)
***Please feel free to comment and send shout outs to all of the incredible people of Leon 1 C!!!!!! ********